Skip to main content

tv   Wolf  CNN  February 7, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PST

10:00 am
hello. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. thanks for joining us. we're following breaking news. live pictures coming in from the white house briefing room. shortly, we'll be seeing the press secretary sean spicer at the lectern at this hour to take questions from reporters. spicer will likely have to explain further the government's defense of the travel ban, a ban president trump says is, quote, commonsense. we're going to go to the briefing live as soon as it gets started. stand by. also, a first on the u.s. senate floor. moments ago, the vice president
10:01 am
mike pence cast the tiebreaking vote to confirm president trump's nominee for education secretary betsy devos. >> both the ayes are 50 and nays are 50. the vice president votes in the affirmative and the nomination is confirmed. >> the 51-50 vote to confirm betsy devos. just moments ago, devos tweeted this. "i appreciate the senate's diligence and i'm honored to serve as education secretary. let's improve options and outcomes for all u.s. students." our senior congressional reporter manu raju is joining us live from capitol hill right now. manu, this is unprecedented, historic first for the vice president to cast the tiebreaking vote. >> reporter: absolutely, wolf. we have not seen this before. this shows how controversial of
10:02 am
a nominee this was. lisa murkowski and susan collins expressing their view days ago. mitch mcconnell knew they were voting "no" which caused them to have jeff sessions stay in the vote to cast a vote and forced mike pence to come in here and vote "yes" breaking that tie. this came after a pretty dramatic and intense pressure campaign organized by liberal groups and teacher unions to flood senators' offices with phone calls in people with blue states like pat toomey of pennsylvania to convince him to vote against betsy devos. i caught up with pat and he said he never had second thoughts about voting for betsy devos, a
10:03 am
sign that republicans, for the most part, are falling in line behind donald trump's cabinet. now they are going to move to jeff sessions' nomination. expect him to be confirmed as republicans try to push forward two other nominees donald trump is getting his cabinet. not in the time frame that he wants because democrats are slowing things down but most if not all will get their jobs, wolf. >> a vice president who serves as president of the senate often casts tiebreaking votes but this is the first time it's been done to confirm a member of the cabinet. after the vote, the senate minority leader chuck schumer tweeted this. let me put it up on the screen. "today vice president mike pence did something no one else has ever done, cast his own cabinet nominee." and the white house tweeted
10:04 am
this, "congratulations to our new education secretary." >> reporter: these are the only nominees so far that are pending in which we have seen republican defections, which is one reason we saw this pretty intense pressure campaign. but the next labor secretary has not had his confirmation hearings yet and he just revealed yesterday he hired an undocumented immigrant as a housekeeper and did not pay taxes on that employee until later acknowledging that he did actually hire someone who was not legally in this country. i just spent time with a couple of our other colleagues assessing whether or not republicans would vote against mr. puzder's confirmation and
10:05 am
they say they want to learn more about this confirmation. john cornyn telling me that he's still confident that he will get the job but there will be a lot of questions and perhaps republican defections if he does not answer those questions to their satisfaction, wolf. >> jeff sessions, the republicans needed his vote in order to get betsy devos confirmed as education secretary but it now looks like he's about to be confirmed as well. >> that's right. later this week they broke a filibuster to push this through. expect some democrats also to vote with jeff sessions, including joe manchin of west virginia, who announced right out of the gate that he was going to support senator sessions. we're not expecting republican defections on his nomination and 51 republican senators are required. any senators are required to confirm a nominee and to break a filibuster. 52 republican senators stand
10:06 am
united. he should not have a problem. expected to get the job sometime later this week. >> and then he'll become the attorney general of the united states. manu raju, thanks very much. louisiana republican senator bill cassidy is joining us from capitol hill. senator, thanks for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. thanks for having me. >> it took this historic tie-breaking vote from the vice president of betsy devos to be confirmed as secretary education. you believe she's the right person for the job but it took our vice president to get her confirmed. >> vice presidents have voted to break ties before. >> not for a cabinet nominee, though. >> i'm not sure of the great significance of that. i just don't. on the other hand, what i like about miss devos, she believes the parent should have the power and we shouldn't consign children to remain in a failing school. she's used her influential and
10:07 am
her wealth and activism to allow that mother to choose a better school for her child. i think that's where we need to be. >> the attorney general nominee, senator jeff sessions, congressman tom price, nominee for health and human services, they are waiting for their full votes on the senate floor. do you think there's any doubt about their confirmation? >> i think they will be confirmed. they are strong candidates and more than competent and will excel. >> do you have any questions at all about trump's nominees who are still awaiting confirmation, some haven't even had hearings yet. >> yeah, i prefer to withhold judgment until we have their hearings. i'm a doctor and never like to speak about theoreticals with patients. i want to have as much information as possible. that's kind of the way i'm approaching these hearings. >> the nominee for labor secretary has a problem now, that he hired an undocumented
10:08 am
immigrant, never paid taxes, has now paid those taxes in the past. democratic nominees and republican nominee who is have had similar problems, they've had their names withdrawn. how do you feel about that? >> again, i'd rather withhold judgment on that particular issue until i understand it better. the first i heard about it was an hour ago and i don't have any details other than what you mentioned. when i met with him privately, he was all about creating jobs. he said trump's directive to me is to help create jobs. private sector creates but what can we do to better create. i want a secretary of labor who is about creating jobs. >> john kelly testified before congress about the president's proposed travel ban which has now been stayed. he said he should have slowed down the rollout of the president's executive order. listen to secretary kelly. >> in retrospect, i should have.
10:09 am
this is all on me, by the way. i should have delayed it just a bit so i could talk to members of congress, particularly the leadership of committees like this to prepare them for what was coming. >> do you believe the trump administration moved too quickly on such a clearly complicated issue? >> well, i think kelly thinks they moved too quickly. i'd be echoing the administration if i agreed with that. i understand the president's desire. he wishes to keep happening in the u.s. that which is happening in europe. terrorists coming in as refugees and committing heinous crimes. i know physicians from those communities, from those countries who provide health care in our inner city, rural areas, other places that are under surge. if they're not allowed to return because they are on a green card, those communities, their families, our communities, our patients will be less well-served so. i look forward to them refining
10:10 am
this and pro equitecting our security. >> as a physician, you also are interested in the future of the affordable care act or obamacare. president trump is now promising quick action on repealing and replacing obamacare. he certainly did so during the campaign but now he's lowering expectations. i want you to listen to what he said about the future of obamacare, how quickly it can be repealed and replaced when he was interviewed on fox news. >> can americans in 2017 expect a new health care plan rolled out by the trump administration? >> this year in the process and maybe take sometime into next year but we are certainly going to be in the process. very complicated. we're going to be putting it in fairly soon. i think that, yes, i would like to say by the end of the year. at least the rudiments but we should have something within the year and the following year. >> are you okay with that delay because originally it was going to be repealed on day one and
10:11 am
then quickly replaced. now the president is talking about 2018. >> senator collins, susan collins and i have introduced something called the patient freedom act. in this year, if congress passes legislation which gives states next year the choice to choose between in order to complete the replacement. what the president said is thoroughly consistent with what we have rolled out. this year, washington does its business to return power to the states but give states time to choose the option best for them and then to implement that option. we're on track if the president is reading our bill. >> do you think he supports your bill? i have not heard that he does. >> he has not spoken specifically on our bill. everybody is covered. we take care of those with pre-existing conditions, no mandates at a lower cost. the only way to get there is a bill like ours and so the fact that he's laid this out as his goals, i think in this sense, the only pathway to get there is through our bill. i consider that endorsement. i'm not sure if he would.
10:12 am
>> let's find out at some point. senator bill cassidy of louisiana, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. later this hour, i'll be joined by patrick leahy. we'll get his take on the vote for betsy devos and the court battle over the president's travel ban ahead. later tonight, senator ted cruz will debate senator bernie sanders on obamacare. manu raju caught up with senator cruz and asked him about his reaction to president trump saying the replacement for obamacare may not pass until next year. listen to this. >> the president has said he has committed to repealing obamacare. republicans in both houses have said we're committed to repealing obamacare. i look forward to that. >> do you expect it to be done this year? >> absolutely. >> and you can watch the debate live tonight, senator cruz, senator bernie sanders at 9:00 p.m. eastern. our own jake tapper and dana bash will be moderating right here on cnn. coming up, the white house
10:13 am
press secretary sean spicer getting ready to answer questions from the news media. that's supposed to start later this hour. likely will discuss the latest on the court battle over the president's travel ban. we're going live to the white house. this hour to hear from sean spicer. stay with us.
10:14 am
after brushing, listerine® total care strengthens teeth, helps prevent cavities and restores tooth enamel. it's an easy way to give listerine® total care to the total family. listerine® total care. one bottle, six benefits. power to your mouth™. tech: don't let a cracked windshtrust safelite.plans. with safelite's exclusive "on my way text"... you'll know exactly when we'll be there. giving you more time for what matters most. (team sing) safelite repair, safelite replace. on a perfect car, then smash it into a tree. your insurance company raises your rates. maybe you should've done more research on them. for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates due to your first accident. and if you do have an accident, our claims centers are available to assist you 24/7. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
10:15 am
10:16 am
you can use whipped topping made ...but real joyful moments.. are shared over the real cream in reddi-wip. ♪ reddi-wip. share the joy.
10:17 am
all right. take a look at these live pictures coming in from the white house. we're told fairly soon who's press secretary sean spicer will take questions from the media. we'll have coverage when that begins. in the meantime, president trump is calling it commonsense. he's talking about his proposed travel ban which is now in the hands of the ninth circuit court of appeals in san francisco. the three-member panel will hear arguments later today, 6:00 p.m. eastern. we'll have live coverage of a that in "the situation room." let's talk about that. the reactions we're getting from the white house. we have our senior white house correspondent jim acosta already in the briefing room getting ready for the sean spicer briefing. dan simons is in san francisco and our senior legal analyst geoffr jeffrey toobin is in new york.
10:18 am
trump had two events already, two meetings, and he did speak about this travel ban. update our viewers. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. president trump met behind closed doors here with some of the nation's sheriffs here at the white house earlier today. the cameras were allowed in for a few moments and they were able to ask the president some questions over his executive order on that travel ban and putting in extreme vetting that's been tied up in the courts. the president said that he believes that this executive order is going to pass the mass stur wh muster and it will be upheld in the courts. he said that this executive order is commonsense. but he did say, wolf, he's willing to take it all the way to the supreme court. here's what he had to say. >> so we'll see what happens. we'll have a big court case. we're well-represented and we'll see what happens. >> will it go to the supreme court, do you think? >> we'll see. hopefully it doesn't have to. it's commonsense. you know, some things are law
10:19 am
and i'm all in favor of that. and some things are commonsense. this is commonsense. >> reporter: that's one of the issues we'll be asking white house press secretary sean spicer about during this briefing in 15 minutes. one of the other items that is certain to come up is this assertion that the president made yesterday that the international news media has been deliberately underreporting terrorist attacks around the world. the president did not give an explanation as to why he believes that. he said that he has the reasons and military audience at macdill air force base that he knows what that means. they put out a list of 78 terrorist attacks that have occurred since late 2014. but wolf, as you know, having gone through this list, many of these attacks, nearly all of the
10:20 am
abeing t at at attacks were covered by the media outlets. we'll ask sean spicer about that as well. >> i'm sure other questions will be coming up as well. live coverage later this hour. dan simon, you're out there in san francisco. walk us through the procedure of what the ninth circuit court of appeals will be doing. i know the hearing begins at 6:00 p.m. eastern and 3:00 p.m. on the west coast. walk us through what they are going to be doing and how quickly we might get a ruling. >> reporter: first of all, legal experts say that you could see a ruling as early as this evening. this is going to be an hour-long hearing, 30 minutes for each side to make their argument and this could really go three ways. we're talking about a three-judge panel that will make the ruling. the first option is that the suspension could remain in place, meaning that visa holders from those predominantly seven muslim countries could continue to come to the u.s. the second option would be is that the suspension is overturned, meaning that the ban
10:21 am
is back on or perhaps there could be some kind of mixed ruling here, that some parts of the executive order could be enforced and others tossed out. as we've been hearing, most legal analysts think it's going to go to the supreme court. wolf? >> stand by. jeffrey toobin, the brief released last night points to title 8 of the u.s. code which says this. the president, quote, made by proclamation and for such period as he shall deem necessary suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. here's the question, jeffrey. why is that not the end of the discussion? >> because that's not the only relevant part of the law or part of the constitution. there's also part of the 1965 immigration act which said there
10:22 am
cannot be any bias against any nation's immigrants in the course of the president's authority over immigration. wolf, this is a really hard case because there are very good arguments on both sides. i wouldn't venture a guess on how this will turn out. i think it's revealing that even some of the judge who is have started to hear these cases have come out differently. it's just a hard case and that's why we have a supreme court because that's how -- where it's going to wind up. >> so you believe it will wind up in the supreme court? >> i do one way or the other. the issues are too momentous and it's likely that we are going to get different rulings from different courts and that's why we have the supreme court to settle those issues if they can reach a resolution with only eight members. it could be a 4-4 split which might mean that circuit court
10:23 am
decisions, like the one that we are likely to get from the ninth circuit coming up today, that would be the law of the land if the supreme court splits 4-4. >> jeffrey toobin is going to be a busy guy. in one form or another, either as part of the primary challenge to the executive order by the president or as supporters try to overturn the ban. joining us from hartford, connecticut, that state's attorney general is joining us. thank you for joining us. >> it's my pleasure. >> what led your state, connecticut, to join this fight against the president? >> because we believe that it's a form of discrimination based on religion, driven by animous by the religious constitution and we believe it's
10:24 am
unconstitutional and like jeff toobin, i agree that this is a tough case, i'll grant it that. there are statutory grounds as well because this 1952 law which you've quoted is qualified by a 1965 law that says you cannot discriminate on the basis of origin. >> they argue that it's not discrimination against muslims and you've heard the arguments specifically that most majority muslim nations are not part of this travel ban, including the largest muslim nation indonesia or the largest arab state egypt. they are not part of the ban so why do you say it's discrimination against the muslims? >> equal protection is not an all or nothing constitutional phenomenon. the fact that you're not discriminated against all muslims doesn't mean it's okay to discriminate against some of them. there are two reasons we think that the ban does discriminate against muslims and can be distinguished from what president obama did in 2011 with
10:25 am
his slowing down of the visa program in iraq. the first is very simply that the order itself carves out an exception for minority religions which means under this ban, most of the countries are muslim. it means that you have one standard, legal standard for muslims from those countries and another legal standard from religious minorities. the second reason is that president trump has written a very clear public statement that it's relevant and favors the muslim ban and going forward will favor christian admissions to the united states. >> all right. we're going to continue these conversations i'm sure down the road. this case, presumably, as geoffrey toobin said in the u.s. supreme court, attorney general jepsen, we'll have you back. there's a tornado warning
10:26 am
around new orleans. look at the radar, a line of storms coming through the area. an earlier storm resulted in the touchdown of at least one tornado that blew apart homes in the area. that's the same area that got flooded in hurricane katrina. we'll keep you updated on this breaking news as it develops. >> i want to bring in our meteorologist jennifer gray who is in atlanta. jennifer, what can you tell us, first of all, about this storm and where it could be heading next? >> well, unfortunately, wolf, we have a tornado warning for the same spot that had damage earlier today from a previous storm and so it looks like this is round two. we have tornado watches in effect, south louisiana, portions of mississippi, alabama and the florida panhandle. this is a serious, serious situation. you can see this area just on the east side of new orleans. that's where we have damage earlier today. now another tornado warning in effect. also, tornado warning north of
10:27 am
hammond. so let's zoom down on this one just on the east new orleans and you can see this area right here, chamette, is being impacted. they've extended to the east, so violet, those cities under that tornado warning so get into your safe spot as fast as you can. you've been warned about this storm. they are moving at 25 to 30 miles per hour so you have time to get you and your family to that safe spot. also, northeast of baton rouge, livingston, including the towns of independence, it's a very serious storm moving to the east and you can see that tight circulation with the red and green coming together indicates rotation. it's a very tight spin in these storms. they have history of damage and so take them seriously. we also have video you can see right there on the left side of your screen that was taken from one of the hospitals in new
10:28 am
orleans and so right there, tornado. and so these are very serious moving to the east, a cluster of thunderstorms that will continue to march throughout the east. so the threat remains from the ohio river valley down to the gulf coast with the biggest tornado threat being right around the gulf coast from south louisiana all the way to the florida panhandle. wolf, this is something that we're going to keep our eye on. >> good advice from jennifer gray. if you're in that dangerous area, go to that safe zone. jennifer, thanks very much. we'll stay on top of this story. we're also just moments away from the white house press briefing. the press secretary sean spicer expected to take questions about the confirmation of education secretary betsy devos, the court battle over the president's travel ban and a whole lot more. our live coverage is coming up.
10:29 am
10:30 am
10:31 am
remember when you said men are supeyeah...ivers? yeah, then how'd i get this... safe driving bonus check? ...only allstate sends you a bonus check for every six months you're accident free. silence. it's good to be in, good hands.
10:32 am
10:33 am
we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer reporting from washington. these are live pictures coming in from the white house. at any moment, white house press secretary sean spicer will take questions from reporters. stand by. we're also following a major development on capitol hill. the senate has just confirmed betsy devos as the new education secretary. the vice president, mike pence, casting an historic tie-breaking vote to get a cabinet nominee
10:34 am
confirmed. i want to bring in senator patrick leahy, democrat from vermont, member of the judiciary committee, strongly opposed of betsy devos' nomination. thank you for joining us. >> well, thank you. happy to be with you, wolf. >> you said on the senate floor, senator, she wasn't qualified to fulfill the primary goal of the department of education, which you describe as giving all students access to quality public school education. now that she has been confirmed, will you be able to work with her? >> i wonder who can work with her. she seems to have a bias against public schools. in my home state of vermont, we have 90,000 public school students. not everybody can afford to send their kids to private schools. not everybody can go with the elite. not everybody's a billionaire like she is. obviously this country is better if we have a strong public
10:35 am
school system for everybody, rural areas, everybody else can get a good, free, public school education. she knows neither no understanding of that nor commitment to that. let's hope she changes. let's hope she is actually studying some of the things she's supposed to handle. >> she says, senator, she supports public school education but she wants parents to have choices. maybe send the kids to a charter school in the neighborhood that might be better or get a voucher, send the kids to a catholic school that might be better. what's wrong with that? >> there's nothing wrong with sending kids to catholic schools or any other kind of schools if you're paying for it but don't use my taxpayers' dollars for it. spend their money on our public school system.
10:36 am
maybe our public school system better. now, if you have wealthy people like the new secretary, fine, let them send their kids to private school. that's what mr. trump did. that's what she can do. most americans can't. most americans have to work hard for their paycheck. they are already supporting the public schools with their taxes. let's have the public schools be good public schools. if you have a few wealthy elites that want to send their kids somewhere else, let them do that. >> now that senator sessions has cast his vote in favor of her confirmation, it looks like he's going to be confirmed as the next attorney general of the united states. that vote will be coming up fairly soon. i want you to listen to what president trump said about all of this earlier today. >> one person came up to me, a senator, a democratic senator came up to me the other day and said jeff sessions is a
10:37 am
fantastic man, he's fabulous, he's a friend of mine, he's a great, great man and a great talent and we're lucky to have him. i said, oh, great, i guess you're voting for him. "no, i won't be doing that." he said, "politics doesn't allow me to do that." i thought it was a disgrace. >> i have no idea who that democratic senator might have been. >> no. and i don't know that even such a person exists. mr. trump makes up some things all the time. although he said during his campaign he would have executive orders to ban muslims from coming into this country. he's gone through with that. he said in an interview he'd try to protect christians but he'd keep out muslims. that violates or constitution, of course, but in a hasty executive order, he's done that. now we're tieing up the courts trying to sort out something that could have been done correctly. instead, he did something that doesn't protect our country at
10:38 am
all but does send a signal to the rest of the world, the united states does not stand for the principles of tolerance. >> realistically, a final question before i let you go, any of the president's cabinet nominees going to be rejected? >> probably not. we saw this with devos. we know that a lot of people did not want her but they thought they had to stick with their leadership. the leadership allowed two of them to vote against her knowing it would not make a difference. they'll probably go through, which is strange, because you have somebody with secretary of labor who doesn't believe in raising the minimum wage. some who haven't even finished their ethics reports, though they will, and another one who somehow forgot that he had $100 million stashed in the cayman islands. others who hired undocumented
10:39 am
immigrants illegally, paid them off the books in the past and it seems that this white house has one standard for themselves and a different standard for the rest of the country. >> senator leahy, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> once again, we're only moments away from the start of the white house press briefing with sean spicer. we'll go there live. that's next. t safelite. with safelite's exclusive "on my way text"... you'll know exactly when we'll be there. giving you more time for what matters most. (team sing) safelite repair, safelite replace.
10:40 am
nice tells you what you kind want to hear.ifferent... but kind is honest. this bar is made with cranberries and almonds. so, guess what? we call it cranberry almond. give kind a try. parts a and b and want more coverage, guess what? you could apply for a medicare supplement insurance plan whenever you want. no enrollment window. no waiting to apply. that means now may be a great time to shop for an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company.
10:41 am
medicare doesn't cover everything. and like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans, these help cover some of what medicare doesn't pay. so don't wait. call now to request your free decision guide. it could help you find the aarp medicare supplement plan that works for you. these types of plans have no networks, so you get to choose any doctor who accepts medicare patients. rates are competitive, and they're the only plans of their kind endorsed by aarp. remember - these plans let you apply all year round. so call today. because now's the perfect time to learn more. go long.
10:42 am
10:43 am
the white house press secretary sean spicer has just started his press briefing. he's had an opening statement about giving federal aid to mississippi. let's listen in. >> thanking them for their service and the ideas on their mind. the president announced his intent to make historical invest in the armed forces of the united states for those who stand in defense of freedom. the armed forces are at the center of our fight against islamic radical terrorism and must protect those who protect us. the president kicked off today with county sheriffs from around
10:44 am
the country. they pledge to work closely with all members of law enforcement to keep the american people safe. he assured the sheriffs that the trump administration will make every effort to stop drugs and crime from flowing into the country, put an end to the opioid epidemic, secure the borders, keep terrorists out and strengthen the bonds between state, local and federal law enforcement agencies and unprecedented support for law enforcement. they expressed how encouraged they've been by the pro law enforcement atmosphere that has swept the country in the wake of the president's victory. they also presented a letter on behalf of the national sheriff's association thanking the president for his, quote, recent show of support for law enforcement, specifically on immigration and border security issues" and commending the
10:45 am
president's two second executive orders for enhances public safety. they engaged in discussion about the issues facing law enforcement which the sheriff said was an opportunity they hadn't been given under the previous administration. the sheriffs closed the meeting by thanking the president for protecting the rule of law. a list of the attendees is available for those interested. the va is a top priority to ensure that veterans get the care when and where they need it. tragically, many are being failed by a system that does not work. this administration will reform and modernize the v.a. under the leadership and creating a culture of accountability that puts our veterans first. the president welcomed the group to the roosevelt room and said he will take whatever steps are necessary to improve health care access and quality for our
10:46 am
heroic veterans. miss tiffany smily, the wife of a veteran blinded by an ied talked about the difficulty with the v.a. dr. shulkin and a group of advocates engaged in a wide-ranging discussion so the needs of veterans come first. the experts discussed private sector solutions and innovations that could be used to improve the v.a. the president praised the secretary designee and commitment to veterans and do what is best for our veterans. the plan to meet on a regular basis to collect their efforts to improve the va and health care system. the vice president had a big day on capitol hill where he cast a historic deciding vote for secretary of education, betsy devos. the president believes strongly our nation's success depends on education of our students and betsy devos has devoted nearly
10:47 am
three decades of her time and talent to promoting educational opportunity. as secretary, she will ensure that every student has access to a good school, whether it's public, private or charter. the fact that the vice president had to come in is another glaring reminder of the unprecedented obstruction that senate democrats have engaged in throughout this process. the american people send a strong message when they elected president trump in november. they are fed up with business as usual in washington. democrats in the senate should expect that voters will remember how they stood in the way of the president enacting an agenda that put him into office. last week i noted the president had a fair number of cabinet nominees awaiting votes. we are looking forward to see agencies and departments confirmed in the coming weeks despite the childish acts by the
10:48 am
democrats in the senate who would rather keep things as status quo. judge gorsuch continues with a full week of meetings. he met with tester and feinstein and today meets with schumer and thune. the president is looking forward to a full hearing for the judge followed by an up or down vote on this incredibly qualified nominee. at this moment, the president is meeting with congressman jason chaffetz to discuss how to enact his reform agenda and will meet with secretary of state rex tillerson. the president was pleased to confirm and swear in secretary tillerson in the oval office last week and pleased that the secretary is now able to bring his unique skill set and deep insights into the important work of the state department. following this discussion with secretary tillerson, the president will have calls with prime minister of spain and president erdogan of turkey. we'll have read-outs of both of those calls when completed. this evening, the president will
10:49 am
host the army special forces qualification course in the oval office as the president said yesterday men members of our military are our nation's heroes. it's important to make sure that the men and women of our armed services have the tools to execute their jobs successfully. later this evening, around 6:00, the ninth circuit court will hold oral arguments per its order from yesterday. i want to quickly run down what we can expect to happen tonight. a career attorney from the department of justice will present an argument and to be clear, all that's at issue tonight is the hearing is an interim decision on whether the president's order is enforced or not until the case is heard on the actual merits of the order. it's a simple status quo versus anti-status quo decision. this is just like the case in boston which started as a temporary restraining order. there, once we were able to explain our position, the court
10:50 am
lifted the ban and 8 u.s. code 112 gives the constitutional authority for this executive order. when any . he may projeclamation, on t entry of any aliens which he may deem appropriate. we look forward to final merits of this decision soon. looking head, i know more of you are questioning about the prime minister. it is february 10th, the president has invited him down to mar-a-lago. this is the importance the united states places on the buy
10:51 am
lateral relationship and the tie between the united states and japan. needless to say the president is looking forward to the new england patriots to celebrate their fifth championship. it was a spectacular game. and we have our eyes on kabul following the tragic bombing. this morning general flynn showed support, we condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms and we reaffirm our support for the afghan government to work for their people and against enemies of peace. with that i'll take your questions. david jackson. >> it looked like it had been prepared well in advance.
10:52 am
wi was that already on hand. >> have i think the hananswer ie have been getting questions to what the president's remarks were. many haven't gotten the attention they have deevserve t. it's too often we are seeing attacks not get the spectacular attention they deserve and under min undermines the threats that we have against the country. the conversations are because he cares about making sure we don't have attacks, that we are protected and ahead of the curve, and we have to remind that isis is trying to do harm. and part of it is to make sure that the american people are
10:53 am
reminded how prevailant these attacks are but understanding the unwavering commitment that the president has to keep the country safe. >> on the call with the turkish president, does president trump intend to discuss syrian safe zones and does he expect turkey to create safe zones? >> i don't want to get ahead of the two leaders calls. >> you were mentioning that voters were going to remember how the senators voted. two republicans voted against devos, will he not forget what republicans did in that particular nominee situation. >> the president has been very clear. it's not republicans that have stood in the way of these
10:54 am
nominations, it's been democrats that have stalled over and over again, trying to use every delay tactic possible. that's the message that the party has missed on the democratic side, which i don't think wouldn't paid it with a broad brush because it's senate democrats that haven't gotten the message. your team has been in contact with the entire senate team to make sure they understand and have visits, but we've been in contact with the senate, our affairs team has had a extremely robust schedule of meetings to make these nominees available to them. with all due respect i think it's interesting we're focussing on two republicans when you look at the antics of the democrats. the tactics they have done over an over again to delay, not show up to hearings, filibuster to
10:55 am
the extent they can. it's not to the republicans that have a problem, it's the democrats who continue to do this. >> the president's remarks and affordable care act, that he thought the repeal and replace was going to perhaps takeni lonr perhaps into 2018, can you clarify what he's doing with this, because voters were anticipated this might move faster than he was conveying in the interview. >> i think we can have this done legislatively sooner rather than later, but a lot of implementations may take longer, as you remember the democrats said we could read it after they passed it. we are doing this have a very responsible way to make sure that health care is preserved
10:56 am
while putting in a new system that increasdecreases cost and increases availability. >> a follow-up related to that to tinker about the margins and -- is a collapse in the law. do you agree with that that you can't build on what's already there? you have to get rid of the entire -- >> are what we're focused on is the end solution and we're very clear that the president is going to repeal and replace it. and at the end to americans will get a health care solution as i've said over and over again is going to be a lower cost health
10:57 am
care solution with more options. the president being able to approach this with a business like manner that he has so successfully done in the past, we look at the practices and other things that will help lower costs once and for all. >> on iran sanctions does the president have any concerns t t that -- >> no. >> the president spoke over the weekend on twitter and cr criticized, former president george w. bush appointed for judge, calling him a so-called judge. is he prepared to receive an
10:58 am
adverse ruling? >> of course the president respects the branch, but the president has the discretion to do what is necessary to keep the country safe. i think he feels confident just like in the ruling in boston that we're going to prevail on this on the merits of the case and that it's done in a lawful way. >> last week you said settlements may not be helpful. >> h prime minister netanyahu will be her february 15, i don't want to get ahead of that now. >> any response to the calling
10:59 am
for impeachment by max iine waters? >> no, it's the democrats in the senate that are trying to stall these nominees. by and large you see the support that the president is receiving for his policies throughout the country and it's because people recognize a that business as usual is over and growing the economy and creating jobs is something that's welcome regardless of party. when you see stuff like that it just shows they really missed the message that voters sent this past november. >> cnn reportedly declined to interview kellyanne conway because of questions about her
11:00 am
credibility, is there an alternative to work with spokes people? >> my understanding is that they walked that back or denied it, but kellyanne is a very trusted aid if they choose not to work with someone that's up to them, but we're going to continue to put out key leaders like kellyanne that can articulate the president's agenda. >> does president trump plan to ask the senate to expedite the swift firing of bad -- employees? >> i think as you have heard, that we're providing the best care and if there are things offered up or reformed he is going to make sure we enact policies internally to make sure people who are not doing their